Reimbursements for Lunches & Receptions

Often, University employees meet with persons during a meal, conference, or reception where the employee may purchase food or beverages in consort with the activity.  State Comptroller regulations specify that employees can be reimbursed for the costs of food and lodging (within prescribed limits) while in travel status. However, the State Comptroller's office will not pay for reimbursement of internal meetings, lunches, or seminars, based on the presumption that the employees would have to purchase food or beverages regardless of the meeting, etc. and that the State will not pay for employee meals, etc. while the employees are not in travel status.

When recruitment is the reason for the meeting, the candidate's and his or her spouse's travel and meal costs will be reimbursed, as well as the meal costs for faculty or University staff involved in the recruitment process.

To decide if reimbursement can be made, functions are divided into two types: those that are open to off-campus public and those that are primarily University activities. For purposes of this policy, if an activity is announced outside the University, the activity is considered an off-campus public activity. Conversely, if the activity is not announced off campus, the activity will be defined as on-campus activity.

The meal per diem in place for the location of a reception, whether held locally or while in travel status, represents the maximum that can be spent per person under any catering contract.  The total cost of the contract must be used to determine the cost per person.  Reception costs in excess of the meal per diem must be reimbursed from other than state funds.

Sodexo has exclusive rights to cater events on campus unless a waiver is approved by Sodexo (click here for waiver form).

         TYPE 1 - Activity Open to Off Campus

Food or beverage costs associated with lunches, receptions or conference meals advertised to the off-campus public are allowed. The following documents will be required upon audit:

  1. List of attendees. 
  2. Copy of function notification and agenda. 
  3. Memo of justification. 
  1. TYPE 2 - Activity Attended Primarily by University Personnel

Food or beverage costs for activities advertised only to the campus community will not be allowed.

However, some accounts provide allocation (because of their unique nature) for payment of lunches, dinners, etc. for the participants of a program, as well as counselors, etc. These accounts will be allowed to make such expenditures upon submitting the information noted above for TYPE 1 expenditures.

Alcoholic beverages will not specifically be paid by the Comptroller under any circumstances.

Also, please note that Sodexo has exclusive rights to provide food services for functions held on campus and should be contacted for such services when functions are being planned.

Sodexo Invoicing and Payment Process - Effective 1/17/17

  1. The campus department will review the policies and procedures pertaining to Reimbursement for Lunches and Reception above to ensure that the event can be paid for from State funds. 
  2. The campus department pay for events under $5,000 on a procurement card.
  3. If the cost of the function is $5,000 or more, Sodexo will submit an invoice directly to the department. The department will submit the Sodexo invoice, list of attendees, agenda and justification, if necessary, to the Accounts Payable Office MSC 309 for review before payment is processed on a voucher.